Last day at the beach has its traditions. Breakfast at the Royal Treat. Rushing around to buy treats to take home: chocolate taffy from Candy Kitchen, caramel corn from Fisher's. Something new in the mix this year: Alice is taking Margo to get her first henna tattoo.
Last day at the beach. What did I want to do that just didn't happen? An evening walk on the beach with Richard. Flaming coffee at the Back Porch Café. Riding a "surrey with the fringe on top" bicycle on the boardwalk. Tropical frozen cocktail with a little umbrella.
Last day at the beach. Is what I *didn't* do what's important? Are the things that got away the things that should define my trip? When I look back, do I want to dwell on what didn't happen? Wow. It is tough to overcome this mentality.
Let me go back for a minute to the Church of What's Happening Now. It takes some readjusting. But then it comes into focus: laughing and joking in the car, overcoming fear in the water, watching my family goof around at Funland, George and Richard trying to calculate the distance to the horizon while waiting for food at the Grotto, Alice and Margo watching the dolphins, daily swim time in the pool with Margo, sitting under an umbrella with my feet in the sand, breathing in and out with the motion of the waves.
A postscript: I want to dedicate this series of posts to my wonderful son-in-law, who came up with the concept as I put my pen to my spiral notebook while we sat on the beach together. Sharing a vacation and a hotel room with people you didn't grow up with can be challenging. I am so grateful he is a part of our family.